Help! I just heard about this cool game but I don't know where to start!
by, 06-13-2015 at 01:59 PM (1406 Views)
First off, welcome New Player! Dice Masters is a really cool game that combines mechanics from several different popular games: Magic: The Gathering, Dominion, and Quarriors (to name a few). So where does one get started?
First off, you'll probably want to get a Starter Set. Any of them will work, although I wouldn't recommend Yu-Gi-Oh because it comes with only 1/3 of the character cards. What do you get with a Starter Set?
- First off, you get "Sidekick Dice" (or NPC dice if you like D&D). These are the generic dice that both players start with. If you've ever played a Deck-Building Game like Dominion or Ascension, you know that each player starts with the same basic deck, and then they use those resources to customize their deck. In this game, both players start with 8 Sidekick dice, all identical. All the Starter Sets come with 16 Sidekick dice, so you have the materials for both players.
- You also get Basic Action Cards and dice. In most Deck-Building Games, all players are choosing from the same selection of cards. In Dice Masters, each player has their own selection of dice that only they can acquire. However, each player also selects 2 Basic Actions (for a total of 4), and these are available for either player. The Starter Set includes 12 Basic Action Dice, 3 each of 4 different colors. Each die is identical except for the color, so the Starter Set also comes with 4 "Indicator Cards" matching the dice colors. You pick a Basic Action card, put it with (for example) the Red Indicator Card, and the 3 Red dice. For this game, the Red dice will all represent this Basic Action Card. Each Starter Set comes with a different selection of 10 Basic Actions, so if you invest in Dice Masters long-term you will likely end up collecting all of the Starter Sets just for the Basic Actions.
- You also get two Tyvek dice bags, one for each player. They look like airsickness bags, they are too small for many people's hands, and you will likely end up replacing them (maybe with a Crown Royal bag, or a custom dice bag). If you choose not to, however, the nice thing is that they are virtually indestructable.
- So aside from the differing Basic Actions, what makes each of the Starter Sets different from each other? The characters! Each Starter Set comes with cards and dice for 8 different characters. Each character comes with 2 dice and 3 different cards. When you are "building your team", you choose which characters you want to use, and you choose which "version" of the character you want, and how many dice you want to have available. Each version uses the same dice, but has different special abilities. Most of the cards will allow you to have up to 4 dice available to purchase during the game.
So what comes in the booster packs? Each pack has two cards and the corresponding dice. Within the booster packs you will find a 4th version of each of the 8 starter characters, and the associated die so you can get up to the maximum of 4. You will also find an additional 30 characters or so, each in 3 different rarities (Common, Uncommon, Rare, or Super-Rare). All the dice for each character match, so if you get the Common and Rare versions of a character, you can use the two dice with either one.
So now that you know what comes in the Starter Set and the boosters, which one is the best to get? This is where theme and/or availability will come into play. If you're all about super-heroes, and nothing else, you will probably not want to get the D&D and/or Yu-Gi-Oh sets (although mechanically, it would work - the Sidekick dice are all the same, and all the characters can play against each other). Also, if Avengers vs. X-Men boosters aren't available where you live, you might not want to get the AvX Starter Set (though you could, but you'd never have more than the 2 dice per character). While all sets are interchangable, there are some mechanics that work best within the set (D&D has Experience and Gear that only works with D&D cards, DC cards reference Justice League characters that don't exist in the Marvel universe). So it's probably "best" to get the Starter Set that will be easiest to acquire booster packs for. If they're all the same in that regard, go for the one with the characters you like the most. Big fan of Batman/Superman? Go for DC: Justice League. Like Cyclops and Magneto? Uncanny X-Men. Iron Man, Captain America, and Spider-Man? Avengers Vs. X-Men. Paladins and Dragons? D&D: Battle for Faerūn.
Note about Yu-Gi-Oh: I definitely do NOT recommend Yu-Gi-Oh as an entry to Dice Masters, unless you are already a huge fan of the card game/show. The art is sub-par, the Starter only includes 1 version of each of the 8 characters, and the dice all have serial numbers to match with the cards. While it's totally compatible, there are some terminology differences that you have to translate. While there are definitely some cool powers, don't start here.